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Microsoft woos small biz world with new server bundles

Sizing up the little guy

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Microsoft has launched two server products aimed at small biz and mid-sized companies.

Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS) is designed for firms with up to 75 users or PCs. Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS) is intended for businesses with up to 300 users or PCs. Both are generally available.

Microsoft, like every other tech company, is keen to use the financial crisis as a way to convince nervy businesses that parting with some cash for a new product will give them a helpful leg-up amid the turmoil.

So it is offering customers licensing and financing options to give SMEs “flexible payment terms” that can run from 24 to 60 months.

Microsoft also hopes to convince customers, who have in the past warily sniffed around the firm’s archaic licensing agreements, that it has improved and simplified the process.

The company announced prices for the products that come bundled with Exchange Server, Windows Server and SQL Server, in May this year.

Windows SBS 2008, including five client access licenses (CALs), comes in at $1,089 with additional CALs costing $77 a pop.

IT departments will need to shell out $1,899 for Windows EBS 2008, which also includes five CALs, with each extra licensed computers connecting to a server priced at $189 each.

Hardware partners including Dell, Hewlett Packard and IBM have already built systems optimised for the new products, in the hope of reeling in the little guys. ®

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